Location : Kota Pontianak, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia.
Our second visit to a crowded Rumah Radakng was in the evening with the contest to pick the ‘King’ & ‘Queen’ as the highlight event. West Kalimantan’s most handsome men and fairest ladies walk the stage to be judged for their looks as well as their fashion designs. The most striking part of their tribal influenced costumes was the headgears. Mostly, feathers of hornbill and pheasant were used while for others beads and tree bark. Obviously, the ladies were more artistic and had a wider range of creativity in this area.
The men were overly ‘traditional’ which actually hindered their creativity.
As for the dresses, the story is pretty much the same between the boys and girls. Generally, the Indonesian ladies fashion is evolving faster than their Borneo counterparts although we saw a very big jump in Sabah during this year’s Kaamatan beauty contest. Unfortunately for Sarawak, its fashion wheel is at a standstill, stalled by clinging too much to tradition. The younger generation must learn to break free from this fear of straying from the ‘orthodox’. New colour scheme, material, style and accessories must be courageously tried out to create that fresh look without losing its tribal element, of course. One fine example where there was an evidence of a ‘quantum leap’ was in the contestant 03. We do not know how far she went in the contest as we went home early that night but she was truly outstanding. Classy dress which was not overly tribal, soothing colour scheme, best designed headgear (IMHO!) and a matching pretty face.
Pekan Gawai Dayak Exhibition Booth
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